8 ways to help someone you love through grief
You may truly want to help a loved one, a friend, a colleague, or a family member through the grief they are currently experiencing in their life. Our minds tend to fail us, and our words stammer as we collect the right words to say. Sometimes we become so conscious about saying the wrong thing that we end up saying nothing at all. Know that this may not be the right choice.
Due to the sensitivity and uniqueness of each loss, there is no one correct way to help someone you love through grief. Just show up, say something, express your love, be a pillar standing by their side without turning away, and do your best!
Here are some helpful pieces of advice by the Last Journey to help a loved one cope with grief:
1. Understand Grief
Whether you are dealing with grief yourself or a loved one is, it is important to understand the basics of grief. The process of grief is circular and not linear, and there exist many different kinds of grief. The emotional symptoms include depression, anger, anxiety, denial, and the physical indicators include sleep disturbances, digestive issues, and many more.
2. Regular check-ups on them
Try not to assume that your grieving loved one does not want to meet or spend time. While that may and may not be the case, do your bit by regularly checking up on them, through a phone call, a text message, or an invite for dinner. You may get surprised at how much difference an offer like that can make for a grieving friend.
3. Listen more, speak less
In situations like these, it may become difficult to comprehend what to say. While we may want to do our best to try and make them feel better, our words might not help them. You must know that the grieving loved one will be more comforted if they talk about their feelings. Make it a point to speak less and instead listen to them talk about their feelings.
4. Give them space to cry and express
Give the necessary comfort to the grieving loved one that they can express and cry with you. Crying is an important part of the healing process and will allow them to truly grieve. If you discourage your friend from crying and letting out, they may no longer feel the need to express their emotions to you.
5. Understand them by asking questions
You may be a bit reluctant in asking questions from a friend who is grieving to not upset them. Remember that it is okay to check in and inquire about their health and their mental state. If they express, you can dig a bit deep and venture into details such as whether they ate, how are they currently feeling, and if they would like to meet up or not. You don’t have to fix anything, just be there for them
6. Offer practical help
Along with emotional support, some practical help can be a great lifesaver. The primary assistance will be helping them look for a reliable funeral service provider. Some others include:
- Offering to deliver food at their home or doing their chores for them
- Cleaning their house
- Ask them and arrange for an online memorial service
- Running outdoor errands for them
- Offering to help with childcare
7. It’s okay if they want to be alone for sometime
Grief can instigate a variety of emotions which may range from sorrow, anger, regret and guilt. It can get overbearing to go through it, and the grieving loved one may feel like being alone for some time. You may have to resist your urge to always cheer them up and allow them to be in silence if they wish to. It can be more therapeutic than you realize.
8. Remember important dates
It is advised to keep in mind the important dates of your loved one’s loss. At those times make some extra efforts of reaching out to them and letting them know about your presence. This is a great way of letting them know that their well-being matters to you.